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Petition No. 676

The Third Taxing District of the City of Norwalk

East Norwalk, Connecticut

June 23, 2004

Staff Report

On May 27, 2004, the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) received a petition from the Third Taxing District of the City of Norwalk (TTD) for a declaratory ruling no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required for the proposed installation of three 2MW diesel generators at Norden Place in East Norwalk. The Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) bid the generation capacity of the proposed units on behalf of TTD in response to an RFP issued by Independent System Operator – New England, Inc. (ISO-NE) to secure supplemental generating capacity to address forecasted electric reliability requirements in southwestern Connecticut.

On June 4, 2004, Council member Brian O’Neil and Michael Perrone of the Council staff field reviewed the site and met with: David Brown, Chair of the TTD commission; Larry Dennih, Attorney for TTD; George Leary, General Manager, TTD; Michael Anderson, Senior Principal Scientist, TRC Environmental Corporation; Liz Suchy, Esq., Counsel for Owner and Applicant from Tierney, Zullo, Flaherty & Murphy, P.C.; Michael Brown, Spinnaker Development; Kim Morque, Spinnaker Development; and Gabriel Stern, Director of Planning & Project Development, CMEEC.

The proposed generators would only operate to supply electricity to the grid when called upon by ISO-NE dispatchers during conditions when step 12 of Operating procedure 4 (OP4) is triggered. The applicant anticipates that the generators would run less than 30 hours per year, including periodic readiness testing. However, in the event of a total grid failure in the area, the generators would be used to provide back-up power to the industrial building.

The Norden site is an existing, light manufacturing/office facility of approximately 78.6 acres located in an area zoned Restricted Industrial. The nearest home is approximately 400 feet away from the site, and views of the generators are not expected due to the trees located adjacent to the parking lot. The generators would be located close to the building and would be surrounded by chain link fencing with privacy slats for security reasons and to minimize the visual impact. The site would have 24-hour security via cameras attached to the building. Also, the site is not located within any inland wetlands or watercourses or wetland buffer zones. The units are expected to meet all state and local noise regulations for daytime operation. Noise levels would be 70 dBa or less within 50 feet of the units and would drop off with increasing distance. Noise measurements after construction would be used to confirm the noise level compliance. It is anticipated that the units would only run during daytime hours, pursuant to the ISO-NE Load Response program.

Two of the generating units would be placed on an existing concrete pad where a cooling tower currently sits. The cooling tower would be removed. The third unit would sit on concrete footings and would be located adjacent to the building, to the right of the other two generators. Each generator would be located in a trailer 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and approximately 10 feet high. (The exhaust stacks would be 14 feet high.) The diesel fuel tanks would each have a 1,250 gallon capacity, would be double-lined to minimize the risk of spillage, and would be located within each trailer. The generators would be air-cooled via radiators and would require no make-up water. The generators would provide electricity at 480 Volts, and then go through an adjacent pad-mounted step-up transformer to boost the voltage up to 4,160 Volts. An underground trench would be dug to run cables from the transformers to an existing adjacent substation located on the site. The substation is connected to existing CL&P 27.6 kV subtransmission facilities.

However, one area of concern is the risk of the generators being struck by a service truck/van. The area adjacent to the third proposed generator is sometimes used by maintenance personnel to park their vehicles while servicing adjacent equipment such as cooling towers, condensers, etc. The applicant should consider the use of bollards or other appropriate means to prevent the generators from being accidentally struck by a vehicle.